Why Jana Duggar doesn’t get along with her sisters

The Duggar family is not a mainstream one. Fans of 19 Kids and Counting and Counting On know that the family of 19 siblings (many of whom are now wed and have their own children) has a traditional way of doing things. For example, they court to marry instead of date and often get hitched young, were raised with limited internet access, and base much of their social lives on their tight-knit church community, all of which were shown on the TLC shows. Jim Bob Duggar, the patriarch of the family, has been known to have had strict rules for his clan, which the children have followed to varying degrees. 

The women, for example, often wear skirts and blouses as opposed to pants and tank tops, and don’t have “typical” professional careers. Rather, they are stay-at-home moms and wives, and dabble in “hobbies,” as per In Touch Weekly. The sisters don’t bring in paychecks other than the one from their reality television series. Instead, it falls on the men of the family to be the breadwinners. 

Growing up in this unique way with limited internet access and in a close-knit community, it’s no wonder that many viewed the Duggar children as having an unbreakable bond. However, it seems as if Jana Duggar, the oldest sister, may not get along with her siblings as well as previously thought.

Jana and Jessa have had a particularly strained relationship

With over one dozen children in the house growing up, it’s no surprise that there were and remain some disagreements between the Duggar siblings. However, Jana’s relationship with her siblings has been particularly noteworthy perhaps because of her uniqueness — she is the only sibling that has reached 30 and remains unmarried. Jana’s relationship with her younger sister, Jessa, was especially strained, according to the sisters’ book, Growing Up Duggar (via The Inquisitr). It got so bad that their mother Michelle decided to bunk them together as a resolution to their disagreements, which only made the situation worse. Jessa, who was assigned the bottom bunk, spent her nights kicking Jana’s bed, to which Jana had to respond by “killing her with kindness,” according to the outlet.

Jessa has previously also admitted to their disagreements, but says that things have changed as she gets older. “I think as I started to get a little bit older, I also had a very strong personality and so I would sometimes protest the ideas that she [Jana] had,” Jessa said on an episode of Counting On. “She’d be like, ‘We’re going to do this, and I’d be like, ‘No we’re not.’ … We clashed heads a little bit when we were younger; but now that we’re older … we work together well.” 

There are even more reasons why Jana may not get along with her siblings

However, there are some other theories to why Jana may be the black sheep of the family. According to the siblings’ book (via The Inquisitr), Jana was often playing supervisor when MIchelle and Jim Bob stepped out of the house, making her more of a parental figure rather than a fellow sibling, which could explain the differences between her and the rest of the family. This could have been made worse by the roles assigned to each sibling, according to Cheat Sheet. Jessa and Jinger were tasked with taking care of the laundry and other household chores, for example, while Jill was taught to do secretarial work. And while speculation among Reddit users suggests that while Jana was assigned kitchen duties, it makes sense if she also had to “tell” on her younger siblings from time to time since she was in charge of keeping the rest in line. 

Cheat Sheet also reports that the other siblings, especially the women, could be jealous of Jana’s independence and free spirit, considering Jana is the oldest and least tethered without a husband or family of her own. 

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